Why do good people go to HELL and bad people go to HEAVEN?
That was the question that a church once used to advertise a course that they were running.
They requested some posters to be printed and sent the details to the printing company.
When they received the posters they saw that the statement had been changed to:
"Why do good people go to HEAVEN and bad people go to HELL".
So they rang the Printers and said "You've got it the wrong way round!"
"No we haven't," said the Printers, "it's you that have it wrong!"
That was a story that I heard recently, and it shows how so many people have it the wrong way round.
The Church in question had it right! It was the Printers that had it wrong!
"How come?", you may ask. "Of course good people go to heaven and the bad go to hell - who'd want to spend eternity in a heaven filled with bad people - that would be hell!"
Well, if your idea of getting to heaven is by doing things, for example, doing works, saying prayers at set times, keeping the rules, etc., then I can see how you have the idea that only the good go to heaven.
To me that sounds like a lot of hard work, and you never know if you've done enough.
How do you know when you've gone from being bad to being good?
But what if getting to heaven only required you to believe in something or someone?
If by simply believing, you go from being bad to being good then you will know when you have made that transition - you know .. when you believe!
So if all that is required is to believe, to have faith, to trust, then it doesn't matter how good you are or how bad you are!
It all depends on belief - So if you are good and do NOT believe then you are destined for hell, and if you are bad but DO believe then you will be welcomed into heaven.
The good do indeed go to hell and the bad do indeed go to heaven, depending of course on their belief!
The reason that bad people can get into heaven (and good people as well for that matter) is that when they receive Jesus Christ into their lives they are transformed from the inside out into children of God, and can know God personally.
There are 4 steps to this process:
- God loves you, and wants you, yes YOU, to know Him. (See John 3:16 and John 17:3)
Why is it most people do not know God in this way?
- But we are separated from God by our sin, so we cannot know Him or experience His Love. (See Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23)
Sin is wanting to go our own way instead of God's way.
We show this attitude by openly disobeying God or by simply ignoring Him. (See Isaiah 53:5-6)
God is perfect and we are sinful.
There is a great gap between us because of our sin.
Something is missing from our lives that nothing else - friends, money, work, or leisure - can satisfy.
We can try to bridge this gap ourselves by our own good deeds or even by religious activities.
But all our efforts will fail because they do not deal with the problem of sin. (See Isaiah 59:2)
The third point gives us the only solution to this problem...
- Jesus Christ is God's solution for our sin.
Through Him alone we can know God and experience His Love.
We all deserve to be cut off from God forever, as the just penalty for our sin.
But God sent His Son Jesus to pay the penalty for us, by dying on the cross.
Through Jesus, God has bridged the gap which separates us from Him.
So now we can know God and be forgiven for our sin. (See 1 Peter 3:18, Acts 1:3, and John 14:6)
It is not enough just to know these facts...
- We must receive Jesus Christ into our lives as Saviour and Lord.
Then we can know God and experience His Love.
So it is not enough just to know or feel that these facts are true. (John 1:12)
Receiving Jesus Christ involves:
Jesus promises to come into our lives when we receive Him. (Revelation 3:20)
- Agreeing with God that we are sinful and wanting to turn from our sin to God.
- Trusting God to forgive us completely because Jesus Christ died for our sins.
- Choosing to follow Jesus Christ as our Lord.
To invite Jesus Christ into your life...
- You can invite Jesus Christ into your life by faith expressed in prayer. (Prayer is talking to God)
God is not so concerned with your words as He is with your attitude.
Here is a suggested prayer:
Lord Jesus, I am sorry that I have been going my own way instead of your way.
Thank you for dying to take away my sin.
Please come into my life and make me the person you want me to be.
Could you say this to God and mean it?
Make this your prayer now and Jesus Christ will come into your life as He promised.
- What happens when you put your trust in Jesus Christ?
If you have invited Jesus Christ into your life as Saviour and Lord, many things have happened, including:
- Jesus Christ has come into your life by His Spirit and He will never leave you. (Revelation 3:20 and Hebrews 13:5)
- All your sins have been forgiven. (Colossians 1:13-14)
- You have become a child of God. He is your Father. (Galatians 3:26)
- You have begun a friendship with God that will last forever, and for which God made you. (John 17:3 and John 10:10)
- How can you be sure that all this has really happened?
Because God has promised and He can be trusted.
'The testimony is this: God has given us eternal life, and this life has it's source in His Son. Whoever has the Son has this life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I am writing this to you so that you may know that you have eternal life - you that believe in the Son of God.' 1 John 5:11-13
Thank God often that Jesus Christ is in your life, and that He will never leave you. (See Romans 8:38-39)
You can know that the Spirit of Christ lives in you and that you have eternal life from the moment you invited Christ into your life, because He has promised.
Go to a church where Jesus is worshipped and the Bible is taught, and join with others who have come to know God and are experiencing His Love.
Site created by Richard Coleman on 1st February 1998.
All rights reserved, all trademarks acknowledged.
All information in this page correct as of 8th June 2000.